From an early age, Kyomi’s life was filled with emotional difficulties—an adulterous father, an overreliant mother, and a dismissive extended family. In an effort to escape the darkness of her existence in Japan, Kyomi moved to the States in February 1990 to start a new life as a researcher working at NIH in Bethesda, MD. Soon, she fell in love with her husband-to-be: Patrick, a warm, charismatic British cancer researcher whose unconditional love and support helped her begin to heal the traumas of her past. Eventually, their journey together led them to change their careers and move to San Diego, CA, where they dedicated themselves to a Buddhism practice that changed both their lives—aiding them in their spiritual growth and in realizing their desire to help others.
Then Patrick was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma in the brain—and, after a fierce, three-year-long battle against his cancer, died on July 4, 2016. Devastated, Kyomi spent a year lost in grief. But when she one day began to write, she discovered that doing so allowed her to uncover truths about herself, her life history, and her relationship with Patrick. In the process, she surfaced many old, unhealed wounds—but ultimately writing became her daily spiritual practice, and many truths emerged out of the darkness. After many years of struggle and searching, Kyomi finally found the love and light that had existed within her all along.
2022 Firebird Book Awards First Place Winner in Mind/Body/Spirit and Multi-cultural Nonfiction
2022 Firebird Book Awards Second Place Winner in Grief
“ . . . a beautiful sense of introspection . . . . [O’Connor’s] prose effortlessly encourages readers to invest emotionally in the author’s life, and there are many lessons imparted throughout the journey that readers can – and should – take away and implement in their own lives. Overall, A Sky of Infinite Blue is a book written with no small degree of bravery . . . . I cannot imagine someone reading it from cover to cover without feeling moved and enlightened by the experience.”—Readers’ Favorite
“Quiet, meditative, and graceful, A Sky of Infinite Blue intertwines a spiritual journey with the personal pursuit of freedom.”
—Foreword Reviews, 5/5 stars
“An engaging and poignant immigrant account with sharp, sincere, and tenderly insightful writing.”
“Kyomi O’Connor deftly weaves personal narrative with spiritual guidance in her unforgettable memoir. Powerful and heartrending, A Sky of Infinite Blue is a soaring account of self-examination and resilience in the face of overwhelming grief, a lantern of spirituality illuminating the darkness.”
—Ly Tran, the author of the highly acclaimed memoir House of Sticks
“A remarkable account of a life filled with trials, ultimately leading to spiritual growth, love, and warm-hearted wisdom. I had trouble putting this book down. Kudos to Kyomi O’Connor for a well-told tale of forgiveness, strength, and staying in the moment. I highly recommend A Sky of Infinite Blue.”
—Lindsey Salatka, award-winning author of Fish Heads and Duck Skin
“Kyomi’s poetic and beautiful memoir is a deeply authentic story of her journey to become whole, to claim herself. Her story invites us all to go into the core of our Being and find the spiritual truths that guide us through dark nights of the soul, allow us to see the light.”
—Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers,author of Don’t Call Me Mother and Song of the Plains, and two books on the craft of memoir
“A Sky of Infinite Blue is like a beautiful piece of music, complex in its harmonies as she peels back the layers of her psyche and her relationship to her beloved husband. Her writing is courageous; she never shies away from telling the truth about her personal struggles and the difficulties of her marriage.”
—Cindy Rasicot Author of Finding Venerable Mother
“A Sky of Infinite Blue is a poignant weaving of the difficult and the delightful. Her decision to live in America led her to risk love in her relationship with Patrick, an immigrant from England. Their unfolding life story shows how transformation happens through a mixture of deep love, painful loss, and devotion to faith and community that offers support when life also dismantles you.”
—Gail Warner, author of Weaving Myself Awake, therapist, and founder of Pine Manor Retreat Center
About the Author
Hello and thank you. This is Kyomi O’Connor, the author of “A Sky of Infinite Blue- A Japanese Immigrant’s Search for Home and Self.” This memoir is about my life-long search to live in peace and truth. Starting in my childhood, my life in Japan was filled with emotional difficulties and painful events. Almost like an act of abandoning my life in Japan, I moved to the States in February 1990 as a post-doctoral researcher at the NIH. Soon, I fell in love with my husband-to-be, Patrick, an English cancer researcher with Irish heritage. Initially, his unconditional love and support helped me heal the wounds from my past and regain my own Self.
Our journey together led us to change our careers, move to San Diego, and practice Buddhism. We grew spiritually together in our pursuit of a better life, and also in our desire to help others. Patrick and I became “the best-est” friends, inseparable partners to each other through the many hardships we faced together as life partners.
However, Patrick fell ill in the summer of 2013. With the diagnosis of stage IV metastatic melanoma in the brain, he was prognosed only to live for a few months. He lived for over three years with my tireless care until he died on July Fourth, 2016. After his death, I was a wreck, my life was felt like an old broken torch in the midst of the rubbles.
Writing my memoir has had the power to help me rediscover and reclaim light in my life. As a devout writer and Buddhist, my writing has been a powerful transformative daily practice. I invite you to this space, and to experience alongside me this sometimes painful yet ultimately hopeful and inspirational story of one woman’s journey to finding Self.
I’ve lived in San Diego with my two cats, Tommy and Omi. I’ve recently retired from pediatric dentistry after working and teaching students in the local University-affiliated free clinics for several years. I’ve enjoyed a life of being a Buddhist with lots of activities like writing, reading, yoga, cooking, meeting friends, theatrical plays, and music. Thank you very much!